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Physician Assistants provide expansive clinical diagnostic, therapeutic, and counseling services in primary and specialty care. Working in a number of health care facilities ranging from private practices to tertiary care hospitals, there is currently a tremendous demand for physician assistants. Case Western Reserve University's PA Program educates qualified individuals to be highly skilled licensed health care providers who practice team-based medicine in collaboration with physicians. The general entry-level competencies of a graduate of the CWRU PA Program are to be able to:

Medical Knowledge and Patient Care

  • Elicit and interpret a comprehensive, detailed and accurate history from a patient.
  • Perform the appropriate comprehensive or problem-oriented physical examination of a patient.
  • Perform diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedures associated with the management of medical and minor surgical conditions.
  • Assess the severity of common emergency problems and respond in a decisive and appropriate fashion.
  • Provide life support and perform emergency evaluation/care and initiate therapeutic procedures in life-threatening events jointly with or in the absence of a physician or other health professionals.
  • Apply medical knowledge to patient encounters with evaluation, diagnosis and management of disease.
  • Formulate a differential diagnosis and prepare a problem list based on the assessment of the patient.
  • Analyze pertinent medical information and laboratory data for the formation of diagnostic and/or management plans.
  • Implement and monitor patient treatment plans and recommend or prescribe medications or other therapy for the treatment of patients.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills and Teamwork

  • Record and present pertinent patient data, including interpretive recommendations, in a manner meaningful to the physician and members of the healthcare team.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills to be able to provide complete, concise and well-organized case presentations to physicians and other members of the healthcare team.
  • Function as a member of the interprofessional healthcare team.
  • Utilize well-developed interpersonal skills, communicate appropriately and interact professionally with the healthcare team, patients, family, peers, staff and the general public.
  • Promote health and wellness; instruct and counsel patients regarding physical and mental health, including proper diet, disease prevention, normal growth and development, family planning, lifestyle risks, situational adjustment reactions and other health care matters.


  • Adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and demonstrating responsibility, ethical practice and sensitivity to a diverse patient population.
  • Respect and understand the concepts of privilege, confidentiality and informed patient consent.
  • Engage with the community to heighten awareness of the intriguing challenges and unique opportunities in urban communities.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to continuing medical education and ongoing professional development.
  • Participate in the scholarly activity of the profession through research, publishing and/or education.

Practice-based Learning & Improvement

  • Demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills, informed value judgments and possess an educational foundation for continued growth and life-long learning.

Systems-based Care

  • Practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise patient quality of care.
  • Deliver or assist in the delivery of services to patients requiring continuing care in homes, nursing homes and extended care facilities.
  • Facilitate referral to community resources, health facilities and agencies and arrange appropriate patient follow-up to respond to patient needs that go beyond their medical conditions and include social, emotional, spiritual, economic and environmental factors.
  • Critically evaluate the medical literature, policies and systems on an ongoing basis, to improve patient care, enhance leadership qualities in the community as well as professional endeavors.